Maybe I’m showing my age….but everyone I knew growing up had their mother at some point or another say to them, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” Right?

However, we seem to have entered an age when this old adage is tossed aside in the anonymity of posting comments on the internet. It is almost an accepted fact that if you are in the public eye….including on the internet with blogs and videos and whatnot….you are going to be the recipient of trolls and negativity.

It’s truly sad.

I’m a big Colorado Rockies fan. They are not doing as well this year as we thought they would. A recent article in the Denver Post dealt with how they are having to navigate through the negative comments from the fans in the stands….but also a much worse negativity coming from the social media postings.

There was one very astute comment by catcher Chris Iannetta quoted in the article: “For the people who just want to say negative things, you realize that if someone is saying that much negative stuff about you, it speaks more about them and what they’re going through in their lives.”

So true.

This was the key point in my blog from a few years ago entitled “Solving Problems is an Inside Job“. It’s worth a read (but, of course, I would say that!). However, here is a quote I carried over from Wayne Dyer: “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

Yes, there are angry people who make rude comments online that they most likely would never make if face to face with the other person. Yes, it really is about themselves and not the other person in the vast majority of these cases. Yes, they really need to examine what is in in them that causes them to lash out so cruelly towards others. What they think they are criticizing is really a reflection of some issue within themselves that is going unexamined.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Each of us plays a role in this process.

First, each of us can take responsibility for our own comments….and choose not to say something negative when absolutely not needed. Follow the adage in the first paragraph.

Secondly, we can simply ignore the negative comments of others if they are not causing direct physical harm. Do not give them any attention. Do not give them any energy. An unwatered plant will wither on the vine.

As I frequently say….what kind of world do you want to live in?

Mark Gilbert